Among the many lessons that people learned during the pandemic, one of the most important ones was to take good care of our health. The various health scares resulting from the pandemic and the lockdown made people turn to healthy options in eating, and exercising, steering them towards a healthier and more organic lifestyle.
An upside of this was that people, even those living in small apartments, took to gardening, as a form of a peaceful hobby, surrounding themselves with a soothing and natural environment as well as reaping the benefits of organic fruits and vegetables. This has given rise to container gardening.
Container gardening is basically growing plants (anything from flowering plants to even fruits and vegetables) inside a container, for the lack of space or gardening area. So people with small apartments or small balconies, who have little to no space for gardening, get containers (tubs, pots, half barrels, etc.) and grow anything from flowers and shrubs to fruits, vegetables, and even herbs. Due to the lack of space in budget apartments these days, convenience in moving them if need be, as well as an innate wish to go healthy and organic, container gardening for fruits and vegetables has been trending in the past few years.
Container gardening is really simple to do. All you have to do is get the required container, soil mix, coco peat, some organic compost, and the sapling or seeds of the plant you wish to grow. The container depends on what kind of plant you are looking to grow, in terms of size and structure. For example, if you are growing some kind of vine, you may need a bigger container to place a support rod for the vine, along with the plant.
Many people believed that you need a proper gardening space on the ground to grow vegetables and plants. However, over the recent years, people have experimented with various gardening techniques to understand that even fruits and vegetables can be grown in containers.
We are listing out a few fruits and vegetables that can be grown in containers in the cosy corners of your apartment.
1) Strawberries: One of the best fruits to grow in containers that are easy to grow and do not require a huge container to grow in, is strawberries. Simply put a sapling in a small pot on your balcony or patio or even kitchen window and you will get striking red strawberries during winters. This tasty fruit can also be grown in summers with a little extra effort. Requiring little water and oodles of sun, this yummy fruit is ideal for small container gardening.
2) Pomegranate: Another extremely healthy fruit that can be easily grown in a container, pomegranate is as delicious as it is healthy. The pomegranate shrub has a shallow root system, so it can easily be grown in a container. With well-draining soil, little and regular watering, and a good amount of sunshine, you can reap a basket full of ripe and juicy pomegranates.
3) Banana: An Indian favourite, bananas may seem impossible to grow in a container. However, there are two ways to go about it. One is that you can get a really big container to put your banana plant in which can also bear a support stand for the plant, once it begins to fruit. Secondly, there are dwarf banana saplings available in the market which are also self-fertilizing. You can plant them in normal-sized containers inside your apartment and have the fruit within a few months. In addition to giving a lush look to your garden, the banana plant is easy to grow in India as they love the full sun, heat, and humidity.
1) Tomatoes: The easiest vegetable to grow in a container, a tomato plant can simply be grown out of seeds or a sapling. With regular little water, full sun, organic compost, and well-drained soil, your tomato plant will need to be supported by a support stand or trellis once it starts growing the vegetable. Done right, you can easily produce a basket of big fat juicy organically grown tomatoes almost all year round.
2) Chillies: If you, like me, have a habit of forgetting chillies at the back of the refrigerator, you can simply dry the leftover chillies and sow them in a container. Within a few weeks of regular watering and good sun, you will see healthy chilli plants standing tall. In a few weeks, you will get organically grown pesticide-free chillies. The process is so simple and satisfying that you may never buy chillies from the market again.
3) Capsicum: Whether it is red, yellow, or green, capsicum or bell pepper can easily be grown in a container due to the small size of its plant. Simply sow the seeds from a bell pepper or get a sapling placed in well-draining soil mix in a medium-sized container and have juicy bell peppers for your salad in just about three months. These sun-loving plants are much easier to grow inside before you place them in the kitchen window for the sun, once the vegetables start to appear.
With little effort and smartness, you can have an organic vegetable and fruit fest with the fruits and vegetables grown on your balcony in simple and efficient containers.